Since the news broke about the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, I have cried, screamed, talked with many people, considered the various actions I can now take, and then began taking them. This post is one of those actions.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision has forced us to again confront so many painful questions.

  • How is this even possible in a country that claims to stand for individual rights and personal freedom?
  • How can anyone, anywhere, make a choice for a sister, daughter, wife, niece, friend, colleague, or mother (even!) about their own bodily autonomy?
  • Why do governmental bodies in my country, and around the world, not reflect the demographics and interests of the populations they serve?
  • What is the next freedom that will be struck down?

I have often heard parents of young children, when speaking to their crying or screaming child, say this simple phrase – “Use your words.” They are, of course, encouraging the child to express their anger, fear, hurt, frustration, or need in a way that the parent can understand because then, they can know how to help.

Those of us who live in countries where our right to speak up and speak out is assured can continue to use our words to advocate and act for gender equity and equality. Those of us who live in democratic societies can continue to use our words to advocate and act for governmental bodies that reflect the diversity of the people who constitute our communities and our cultures. We can encourage and support those who want to run for office, and we can use our votes to elect them.

I encourage us all to decide what we can do now, and tomorrow, and the day after that.

Let’s use our words, and let’s use our votes.

This post was first published on SayItForward.org.

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